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Suppliers Boost Performance of Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors

While there have not been any major breakthroughs in aluminum electrolytic capacitor technology over the past year, manufacturers continue to extend and improve on their existing lines with longer life, smaller packages, and higher electrical performance.

"Generally what you see in aluminum electrolytic capacitors is a continued focus on improving the lifetime of the part, and as with all caps, improved electrical characteristics, particularly equivalent series resistance (ESR) and an improved ability to process the parts to withstand higher solder temperatures," said David J. Valletta, executive vice president worldwide sales, for Vishay Intertechnology, Inc., in Malvern, Pa.

The trend continues to be for smaller case sizes, higher capacitance, higher voltage, lower ESR, higher ripple current and longer life, agreed Kent Sterrett, vice president of sales and operation, for ELNA America Inc., based in Atlanta, Ga.

A recent example from ELNA America is its RVD series of SMD aluminum electrolytic vertical-chip capacitors that offers one case size smaller with the same or better ESR and ripple current, along with longer life, compared to the previous RVZ series.

Vishay offers the 146 CTI series of surface-mount aluminum capacitors that can withstand high solder temperatures. Vishay already has seen success with the new series in automotive applications including electric vehicles.

Panasonic and United Chemi-Con also have introduced several new products over the past year.

As examples, Panasonic's HD series of snap-in aluminum electrolytic capacitors offer improved endurance to 3,000 hours in a smaller case size, and the FR series of low ESR radial types, which uses the company's existing technology in its FC/FK series, offers a smaller case size, better performance, and longer life.

United Chemi-Con's new product lineup includes 20 new power supply related products for input or output filtering. New products include the PSG polymer series packaged in smaller case sizes, the MZJ series of smaller case size, low ESR caps for voltage regulation modules, the KXJ series for input filtering in computers and gaming consoles, and the MLF series of surface-mount aluminum electrolytics with up to 10,000 hours of life.

The company also released the automotive-grade GXH series, featuring low ESR and a wide operating temperature range of -55 °C to 135 °C, and the KMS series of 500 volt, snap-mount capacitors for power supplies, solar inverters, or inverters used in power equipment.

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